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Magenta: Metamorphosis

For Metamorphosis, Magenta's fourth release, the band find themselves on The Lasers Edge for North America, a good place to be considering how many quality groups reside on Ken Golden's roster these days. This latest CD sees the UK band, comprised of multi-instrumentalist Rob Reed, singer Christina Booth, guitarist Chris Fry, drummer Tim Robinson, and a host of guest musicians on strings, pipes, and backing vocals, tackling some darker lyrical themes, and musically the scope mixes Celtic flavors with symphonic prog and hard rock. The album is centered around two 20+ minute tracks, the epics "The Ballad of Samuel Layne" and "Metamorphosis", both excellent numbers that hit on all the 70's elements we all know and love, but there's a modern air to these pieces, thanks for the vocals of Christina and the use of violins, cellos, pipes, and other assorted instruments, that add a charming, folky, Celtic flavor amidst some of the more proggy and heavy rock bombast. In between these behemoth pieces, you have the gorgeous "Prekestolen", a short little ditty that harks back to classic Renaissance, Booth's beautiful vocals floating over a bed of keys and Uilleann Pipes, while "Blind Faith" is more of a straightforward pop-rock piece with some folk,Celtic, prog, and hard rock leanings.

The two gargantuan epics that really make up the bulk of this CD is what ultimately will delight progressive rock fans. Fry's tasty Steve Howe-inspired guitar riffs and leads mesh perfectly with Reed's layers of vintage sounding keyboards on the title track, which also sees Robinson laying down plenty of tricky drum fills. Some of the arrangements seem to pay homage to bands such as Yes and Marillion, which is not necessarily a bad thing for fans of the classic material these two legendary acts have recorded. This icing on the cake though is always the enchanting vocal delivery of Christina Booth, who really seems to cement her reputation on this CD as one of the best female vocalists in all of progressive rock.

Through it all, Metamorphosis is accessible, yet complex, melodic, but at times dissonant, making it a CD that has a little something for everyone. Filled with great vocals and expert instrumentation, this latest from Magenta should be the one that finally puts them at the forefront of the modern progressive rock scene.

Track Listing
1) The Ballad of Samuel Layne (20:17)
2) Prekestolen (3:43)
3) Metamorphosis (23:15)
4) Blind Faith (6:01)

Added: May 4th 2008
Reviewer: Peter Pardo
Related Link: Band's My Space Page
Hits: 4741
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Magenta: Metamorphosis
Posted by Pete Richards on 2020-07-03 04:40:06
My Score:

Pete Richards. Great review Pete. There are more great Magenta albums too. Chameleon was good then the 27 Club album was awesome written about the usual suspects Morisson, Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Robert Johnson but it's a beautifully crafted album. Just after this album Christina was diagnosed with breast cancer, lost all her hair and within a year was back touring with Magenta albeit with very short hair. Saw them on the 1st tour back in London. Lovely lady who I know well. Her solo album The Light is about her battle. The last two albums are also very good. I Am Legend only has 3 tracks but doesn't need any more and the new album Masters Of Illusion is awesome. Please try to review some more of a magical band

Magenta: Metamorphosis
Posted by Glorfindel on 2009-03-22 06:36:53
My Score:

'Seven' was very good, but 'Metamorphosis' is briliant. The influences of past progressive rock bands and individual musicians can still be heard, but never detract from the enjoyment of an album which is clearly Magenta's. I look forward to the next album and the forthcoming live shows.

Magenta: Metamorphosis
Posted by Karl Jones on 2008-06-14 03:05:07
My Score:

Having had this CD and listened to it for a couple of months since it was released in the UK, I agree completely with the above review. Great band to see live also.

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